Donald Trump
Donald Trump Reuters

Former US President Donald Trump on Tuesday cancelled a press conference he had scheduled for Thursday at his Mar-a-Lago resort, saying he would speak instead at a rally in Arizona on January 15.

In a statement, Trump blamed the House committee probing the January 6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol for his decision to cancel the press conference.

The former President had planned to use the Thursday news conference as counterprogramming for a scheduled prayer service at the Capitol to commemorate the riots.

“In light of the total bias and dishonesty of the January 6th Unselect Committee of Democrats, two failed Republicans, and the Fake News Media, I am canceling the January 6th Press Conference at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, and instead will discuss many of those important topics at my rally on Saturday, January 15th, in Arizona—It will be a big crowd!” wrote Trump.

“What has become more and more obvious to ALL is that the LameStream Media will not report the facts that Nancy Pelosi and the Capitol Sergeant-at-Arms denied requests for the D.C. National Guard or Military to be present at the Capitol. Their emails and correspondence with the Department of Defense exist, but the media won’t ask for this evidence, or report the truth!” he added.

Trump accused Democrats on the January 6 House Select Committee of a "coverup" and labeled Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff "shifty" and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "crazy."

While some Republicans in Congress expressed concern over Trump’s press conference, others, including Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, took the opposite position and encouraged Trump to hold the press conference.

"I welcome it," Banks told Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Monday night. "President Trump has important things to say, I'm looking forward to hearing what President Trump has to say."

In May, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to form a commission to probe the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The bill was approved in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.

Two days later, however, Senate Republicans blocked the legislation. Senators voted 54-35 on the House-passed bill, falling short of the 10 GOP votes needed to get it over an initial hurdle.

Without any pathway forward in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would use her power to pursue a select committee in the House that will be controlled by Democrats.

Trump has sought to block the release of White House records sought by the House committee. In late December, he appealed to the Supreme Court on the issue, after the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that he had had no basis to challenge President Joe Biden's decision to allow the documents to be handed over.